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2019 Launching a Career in International Affairs

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Boston University,
Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies


India Project, The Jaunpur Social Networks Study

Last summer, four students from Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies traveled to rural India with Assistant Professor Mahesh Karra to help implement a study on the impact of a social network–based family planning intervention on women of reproductive age. Two other students accompanied Assistant Professor Julie Klinger to the remote Brazilian Amazon, where they studied the impacts of environment, development, and security policy on the Yanomami indigenous people.

It is not unusual for students to engage in research with professors at the Pardee School. “Our faculty put a premium on teaching, advising, and helping students develop their skills for the next step in their career,” says William W. Grimes, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of international relations. “Career opportunities are part of the educational opportunities here.”

“Our faculty put a premium on teaching, advising, and helping students develop their skills for the next step in their career.” –William W. Grimes, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of International Relations, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

The Pardee School also puts a premium on networking opportunities for students. The school hosts a monthly symposium where students meet with international affairs professionals, including Pardee alumni, and can talk to them one-on-one about organizations that interest them.

India Project, The Jaunpur Social Networks Study

“In terms of preparing our students, we certainly follow what’s going on in D.C., but we’re also looking at large-scale changes in the world,” says Grimes. Pardee School faculty offer a wide range of expertise in areas such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, migration and refugee issues, gender and global affairs, and religion and international affairs.

About one-third of graduates pursue careers in government service, another third are employed with nongovernmental organizations, and the remaining third work in the private sector.

Federal government employers of Pardee School graduates have included, for example, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Secret Service, USAID, and various U.S. intelligence agencies.

Pardee School alumni have also found opportunities with the U.S. Institute for Peace, the World Bank, refugee-related NGOs, the U.K. Department for International Development, the German Society for International Cooperation, the Atlantic Council, and various global health and development organizations.

Some students who begin their studies with an eye toward careers in the public or nongovernmental sector gravitate toward private sector opportunities, and the Pardee School curriculum provides good preparation for such jobs as well. “They come to realize that there’s more space in the private sector where they can use their skills,” says Grimes. Pardee School alumni have pursued career opportunities with private equity firms, public relations firms, news organizations, and risk analysis agencies.

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